Patrick Galen Dempsey (born January 13, 1966) is an American actor, best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd ("McDreamy") on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Prior to Grey's Anatomy he made several television appearances and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has also appeared in several films, including Sweet Home Alabama, Made of Honor, Valentine's Day, Flypaper, Freedom Writers, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Dempsey was born in Lewiston, Maine, and grew up in Buckfield, Maine. His mother, Amanda (née Caisson), was a school secretary, and his father, William, was an insurance salesman. He attended Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School. He was an adept juggler, tying for second in a national juggling competition. He was also an accomplished skier and while in high school won the Maine state slalom championship.
As a child, Dempsey attended Camp Wekeela located in Hartford, Maine.
Dempsey was diagnosed with dyslexia at age twelve. He told Barbara Walters on her 2008 Oscar special that he thinks dyslexia "made him what he is today." "It's given me a perspective of—you have to keep working," Dempsey told Walters. "I have never given up."